A new global standard for tailings management has been released to support the safe management of tailings facilities around the world.

This follows the tragic tailings facility collapse at Brudaminho in January 2019, where a total of 259 people were confirmed dead and 11 remain missing to-date.

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management was developed by the independent Global Tailings Review, the International Council on Mining and Metals, the United Nation’s Environment Program and the Principles for Responsible Investment.

Global Tailings Review chair Dr Burno Oberle says the release sets a precedent for the safe management of tailings facilities globally and towards the goal of zero harm.

“I call on all mining companies, governments and investors to use the Standard and to continue to work together to improve the safety of tailings facilities globally,” Dr Oberle said.

“It is my hope that the Standard will be supported by an independent body that can maintain the quality and further refine and strengthen the Standard over time.”


The Standard is directed at operators of tailings facilities, guiding best practices in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, monitoring, closure and post closure activities.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable says Australian companies actively contributed to the development of the Standard and reflects Australian leading practice, standards and guidance.

“The safety and health of our people and communities is the minerals industry’s number one priority,” she said.

“While current tailings management practices in Australia are advanced and highly regulated, the industry is committed to continuous improvement as part of its culture of safe and responsible resource development.

“The standard and forthcoming guidance will be reviews in line with the Australian minerals industry’s commitment.”

For more information, visit globaltailingsreview.org